In continuation with Ex EGWU-EKE 111 in the South East geo-political zone, in the areas of patrols, snap checkpoints, rescue missions, cordon and search operations, retraining of troops on contemporary challenges of internal security and coordinated inter agency collaboration with other security agencies among others, the following are some occurrences or gains of the exercise during the period under review – between 13 – 20 January, 2019;
VIOLENT COMMUNAL CONFLICTS AVERTED IN ABIA AND ANAMBRA STATES
Following the attack of Nkwembi community by some misguided youths from Okagwe community of Ohafia Local Government Area (LGA) of Abia State on the 9th of January, 2019, which led to the death of one person, two persons reportedly missing, two houses and six vehicles were burnt. This caused Nkwembi youths to reorganize for a counter attack which troops of Sector 2 in 14 Brigade Area of Responsibility (AOR) assisted Ohafia Divisional Police Headquarters to contain the situation. Normalcy has since been restored between the warring communities. Pictures of some damaged vehicles and burnt houses are forwarded herewith.
Similarly, troops of Sector 5 in 302 Artillery General Support Regiment AOR prevented violent clash over possession/ownership of farm land between Nzam and Umenwelum communities in Anambra West LGA of Anambra State. The incident led to the destruction of farms across the communities, – the situation was salvaged by the deployment of joint patrol teams to the conflicting communities. No life has been lost, government officials and other stakeholders are in control of the situation at the moment. Relevant photographs of damages to farms are attached herewith.
RECOVERY OF ARMS AND AMMUNITION ON A STOLEN TRICYCLE
Based on credible information, troops of Sector 2, Sub Sector 3 in 144 Battalion location along Osisioma, Aba general area of Abia State, monitored/pursued 3 x suspected armed robbers. The robbers abondoned 2 locally made double barel gun wrapped on a tricycle and dashed to the surrounding bushes on sighting a patrol van. The tricycle and the arms will be handed over to the Abia State police command for further action. Photographs of the recovered guns are also forwarded herewith.
RAID ON SUSPECTED DRUG HIDEOUT AND ARREST OF INDIAN HEMP DEALERS
Following a tip off, troops of Sector 2 in 14 Brigade AOR, in conjunction with some personnel of National Drug Law Enforcement Agency(NDLEA) conducted a raid on confirmed hideout of Indian hemp dealers in Atani and Ibom localities in Arochukwu LGA of Abia State. Consequently, five suspects were arrested, 25 percel of cannabis, 17 wrapps of Indian hemp were recovered and are in custody of the NDLEA for further action. Pictures of the suspects and substance recovered are forwarded herewith.
APPREHENSION OVER INSECURITY AND POLITICAL CRISIS CHECKMATED
Based on credible intelligence of likely impending politically motivated violence in the build up to elections/electioneering campaigns by contending parties/actors, troops of Sector 4, in 24 Support Engineer Regiment AOR, – Ebonyi State, have jointly been conducting robust patrols in major identified flashpoints across the State.
Consequently, there is an increased presence of security agencies on patrols and snap checkpoints in some areas such as Afikpo, Ekpoamaka, Alike Achara and Nwankpa communities in Afikpo and Ikwo LGAs of the State.
Similarly, key areas like Ikwo junction, Enugu road, presco roundabout and vanco water works witnessed an increased presence of security personnel. These efforts are aimed to provide a conducive environment for socio-economic and political activities by proactively checkmating anticipated crisis before, during and after the 2019 general elections in line with the directive of the Chief of Army Staff.
CRIMINALS DENIED FREEDOM OF ACTION SO FAR
One major gains of Exercise EGWU-EKE 111, just like others before it, – is in the maintenance of peace and security in the entire South East geo-political zone. Due to sustained mobile patrols, targeted raids, stop and search operations as well as aggresive intelligence drive across the zone, miscreants/hoodlums and criminals were denied freedom of action. So far, criminal activities such as movement of arms and ammunition, armed robbery, farmers-herders clashes, kidnappings, cultism, political brigandage/gangsterism, illegal oil bunkering and pipeline vandalism among others have so far been checkmated. There has not been reported case of political violence or crisis in the region which is to the credit of the political leaders and security agencies.
OPERATIONAL VISIT BY FORMATION COMMANDERS
In line with the Chief of Army Staff Lieutenant General Tukur Yusuf Buratai’s policy directive for formation commanders to visit operational arenas, a team from Training and Doctrine Command was on operational/assessment visit to Exercise EGWU-EKE 111 Step Up Headquarters in Abakaliki and has so far visited all the sector headquarters in the five states of the South East Zone. The team was led by Brigadier General GU Chibuisi. He expressed satisfaction with the level of troops’ compliance to basic standards, rules of engagement, commitment to duty and general deportment so far. More commanders are expected in the coming days. Some pictures of the visit are attached herewith.
TROOPS RETRAINING ON INTERNAL SECURITY DUTIES IS BEING ENHANCED
There is no doubt that troops participating on this exercise are deliberately being exposed to contemporary security challenges facing our country and how to respond to real time situations. So,retraining of Nigerian Army personnel to face current and emerging security threats is one of the key aspects of Exercise EGEU-EKE 111 which is obviously being achieved.
CIVIL- MILITARY RELATIONS / COOPERATION
To ensure mutual understanding, synergy and collaboration with the leaders of the zone for the benefit of the people, the General Officer Commanding 82 Division Nigerian Army Major General Abubakar Sadiq Maikobi has visited all the governors of the South East Zone. He formally, at different times, individually, effectively briefed them about the Exercise and solicited for their cooperation. This action, assisted in the successes achieved so far. Currently, there is no reported case of Civil-Military conflict in the whole of the South Eastern part of Nigeria. The level of cooperation and understanding as well as information of intelligence value being received from host communities in the zone is unprecedented.
Deputy Director Public Relations 82 Division